First Look at Frank Pepe’s Pizza (Now Open)

Connecticut-based Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana  officially opened its first DMV location at Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery Mall (7101 Democracy Blvd) on Monday, March 28.

“It may have taken nearly a century for America’s best pizza to arrive in the DMV, but we are thrilled to finally be here.” said Jennifer Kelly, granddaughter of Frank Pepe.  “These are our family’s original recipes,” she added.  “We even replicated our signature coal-fired, hand-built brick oven using iron castings from the original restaurant.”

Our very own “Mr. MoCo” stopped by on Friday to check things out. We asked him for his thoughts on the pizza and he said “Like every other restaurant, there are going to be people who love it and people who don’t. There will be people who say it’s just as good as the original and others who say it doesn’t compare. There will be people who think it’s overpriced and others who think it’s worth every penny. Some will say it’s overrated and others will say it doesn’t get enough recognition. Just go give it a shot if you’re able to and you’ll be able to come to your own conclusion.”

That doesn’t mean you can just pop in anytime and place your order. “While we were there, carry-out orders took about 45 minutes if you placed them at the mall. We were told that they are running between 45 minutes and 2 hours, and dinner wait times could be just as long, especially on the weekend. I recommend stopping by for lunch if you are interested in dining in.”

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Per Frank Pepe:
Founded in New Haven by Frank Pepe in 1925, who immigrated to the United States in 1909 at the age of 16, Pepe’s Pizza is the originator of New Haven-style pizza, which is characterized by its signature crispy yet chewy, slightly charred crust.

Inspired by the look and feel of the original New Haven location, Pepe’s Pizza of Bethesda evokes the original’s comfort, familiarity, and tradition. The 3,500 square-foot, 90-seat restaurant is visually dominated by the view of its 14 x 14-foot, 104,000-pound oven and the even more significant “paddle area,” where expert pizzaiolos create made-to-order masterpieces on an oak wood table and use 16-foot-long paddles to place them in the oven.

In its 97 years in business, the family-owned and operated pizza eatery has established itself as an American classic, amassing a legion of fans around the world along with a growing list of accolades and recognitions from top-tier organizations and national critics. The brand has  earned the number one spot on The Daily Meal’s list of Best Pizzas in America nine times.

Pepe’s Specialty Pizzas include the original White Clam Pizza, a combination crafted by Frank Pepe himself (fresh clams with Pecorino Romano, proprietary oil blend, fresh garlic, and oregano), Spinach Mushroom and Gorgonzola (mozzarella and Pecorino Romano), and the Amanti Della Carne (Crushed Italian tomatoes, Mozzarella, Meatball, Pepperoni, Sausage, Bacon, & Pecorino Romano).  In addition, guests can enjoy a traditional “Pepe’s Salad” (seasonal greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber, shredded red cabbage, Kalamata olives, Pecorino Romano, and balsamic vinaigrette) or Caesar Salad, along with a selection of red and white wines by the bottle, glass, or carafe.  Non-alcoholic beverages and an assortment of imported and domestic craft beer will also be offered.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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